What is a Wayfinding Sign and Why is it so Important?

building wayfinding signs nyc

In the commercial, municipal, and sometimes even the residential world, the ability to find your way from point A to point B is important. Yes, these days’ people have GPS. But GPS doesn’t tell you where an office is located in an office building or what floor you’re on.

In addition, GPS can only show you where to go when you already know what you’re looking for – it cannot direct you safely to places you may not know you want to visit.

Introduction to Wayfinding Signs

For that, you need what’s known as “wayfinding signs.” These are signs that provide some degree of direction to help people find their way to a specific type of location.

Wayfinding signs are primarily used outdoors, although they can also be used indoors in areas like malls or subways in order to show people where a specific store or train may be. These signs are best known for their arrows. They are placed in an easy to see location, with text, a graphic, or both, and an arrow that points to the way that the person needs to go in order to find that location.

What are the Advantages of Directional Signs?

Hence the term “wayfinding.”
commercial building directional signs nyc

These signs are important, even if you are confident that people can find these locations on their own. That’s because they have several advantages to those that use them, including:

Directing to Non-Businesses

These signs are frequently used to direct people to bathrooms, parking, neighborhoods, and additional services that are not generally found on maps, and may not be something that a person is searching for initially.

Providing “Some” Marketing

For businesses that use wayfinding signs, they provide some degree of marketing by branding the business to the viewer. For example, if someone is walking along the street and sees an arrow pointing to a restaurant, they may not have been looking for the restaurant, but now their curiosity may take them there.

Customer Service

Wayfinding signs are also a form of customer service. They help make sure that the person isn’t forced to look on their phone to find direction, or ask others in a way that is uncomfortable. In some cases, wayfinding signs may also be safety related, helping people find emergency exits (for example).

Reducing Dropoff

Those already looking for you are more likely to keep looking when they feel they can find you. If they feel like they’re not sure where to go, they may decide to give up and look for a new location.

ADA Requirements

Some wayfinding signs may actually be required, because they help those with disability find a location without being forced to ask others about it. For example, signs that say what floor a person is on, or show a map to a business may be required by NYC law.

Wayfinding signs are also placed up and around New York to help reduce cognitive load on the person looking for a business or area, and they are safer for drivers when located outdoors.

The Need for Wayfinding Signs

Wayfinding signs are just one of many different types of signs used around New York to help people find businesses, look for areas of the city, figure out where an office is located, and so much more. But they’re a necessary one, and a sign type that you probably want to make sure that you do not forget when you’re considering what signs to order for your property.

These signs are also very important for neighborhoods in New York, as they direct people to historic landmarks and other locales and assist those that may not have access to other forms of directional information.

If you are interested in creating a wayfinding sign for your property or land, or you need more information about what these signs look like and how they should be crafted, please do not hesitate to contact Signs NYC today.


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